Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

During the Hungary Bike-to-Work campaign (Bringázz a munkaba), there are always a couple of occasions when the organisers have a bikers' breakfast promotion. They set up stands along major bike routes all over the country and treat passers-by to free sweet rolls and juice.

They had one on Tuesday morning and I wanted to take my boy Lance down to get a sweet roll. We went down to the station closest to our flat, collected our goodies, and I snapped this picture of Lance with his new bike and our breakfast in the background. Can you believe that in the five-second interval between us setting down the food and me framing the shot, a frickin' pigeon jumps up on the railing and attempts a snatch and run on Lance's kifli?!

From all appearances, the breakfast "action" seems to be a case if preaching to the converted. At least at the station we visited, along the Buda quay by Batthyány tér, there was a regular stream of cyclists going by. And this was regular traffic -- not people lured by free food. The girls doling out the sweet rolls did their best to flag everyone down, but the majority were rushing off to work and couldn't be bothered. From this spectacle, it was abundantly clear that Budapest is already a real cycling city.

The breakfasts are, however, a great photo op and press availability. A significant part of the breakfast crowd at Batthyány tér were photographers and reporters looking for a little "colour" for their media. The shot above shows Hungarian Cyclists' Club President János Laszló doing what he always does: trying to edify the masses about the value of cycling as urban transport. Sometimes it seems that guy is everywhere.

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